MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – College of Charleston plated the winning run on a double-steal play with two outs in the eighth inning to come back and defeat Jacksonville, 4-3.
The win marked the 200th victory for head coach Monte Lee in his sixth season. With a record of 200-114, Lee is the fastest CofC coach to 200 wins and currently ranks 28th in the country among active coaches with a winning percentage of .636.
College of Charleston (13-3) won its third game in a row and extended its series streak against Jacksonville (4-10) to 10 straight wins.
Senior reliever Derrick Smith (1-0) earned his first victory of the season as he pitched a flawless eighth inning, striking out one. Chase Henry (1) came in for the ninth and allowed a leadoff hit, but then picked off the runner and struck the next two batters to end the game and earn his first save. CofC starter Tyler Thornton went five innings, allowing two runs on four hits. He struck out three and walked none.
Jacksonville used seven pitchers in the loss with reliever Adam Disch (0-1) picking up the loss after he allowed Murray to reach and eventually score in the eighth inning.
“We did a great job of pitching tonight. Thornton got us through five innings and our bullpen did a really nice job. We didn’t have any walks again. We played a very good game defensively outside of a couple miscues. Murray had a big home run and Butler and Heidt had big two-out RBIs in that fifth inning, then we executed the double steal perfectly to win the game with two outs in the eighth.”
The Dolphins scored two runs in the first two innings off an RBI single from Dylan Dillard and an RBI groundout from Alex Seifert.
College of Charleston got on the board in the fourth inning with a solo home run from Brandon Murray, his third of the season.
The Cougars took the lead with two runs in the fifth inning after Alex Pastorius led things off with a walk and Nick Pappas knocked a single. Erven Roper successfully advanced the runners with a bunt, and then Blake Butler hit a two-out single off third base that scored the tying run. Butler advanced all the way to third on a failed pickoff and Gunnar Heidt scored him with a single to right.
Jacksonville tied the game in the seventh inning after a leadoff double from Schaub. He tagged up on a fly ball and came home on a grounder to make it 3-3.
In the eighth inning, Murray was hit by a pitch and Wise was intentionally walked. The Dolphins nearly got out of the inning on a potential double-play ball, but JU could not turn the relay quick enough to first. With two outs, Lee gave the sign for the double steal and Murray came home safely before the tag was applied to Glazer who hesitated between first and second base, giving CofC the 4-3 lead.
College of Charleston will now host Kent State, Michigan and Appalachian State this weekend in the College of Charleston tournament at Patriots Point.